Real-Time Data Insights Crucial for Businesses Tackling a Crisis

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If you spend five minutes watching briefings by public health officials about how to respond to the current pandemic, one thing is certain: Their actions, suggestions, mandates, and predictions are based on real-time data.

Companies should respond with a similar measure.

With this global crisis upon us, businesses are reacting to a “new normal.” One of the most precious assets organizations have in helping them respond to the crisis is their corporate data.

As businesses are literally reinventing themselves on the fly, having instant data insights at their fingertips is paramount. They have to make strategic choices and quick decisions suitable for their business, and they’re relying on their analytics data to cope with this challenge to stay viable. If they make the wrong decision based on no data or faulty data, well, the outcome for the organization can be fatal.

I hold to the belief that decisions are best made with data, along with the mind and the heart. Having intuition based on education, experience, judgment, and know-how, along with passion and commitment, are also vital components of choosing the correct path — especially now, as the time-to-market for new data might not occur as rapidly as we’d like. Having a modern Data Management program that is cohesive, trustworthy, and accessible is crucial, now more than ever. The following are a few reasons why.  

Identification of SWOT

With data, a company can immediately audit, evaluate, and pinpoint its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Data can give evidence about past performance, fact-based insights for your current status, and predictive analytics to help you anticipate your best moves going forward. Data can help you look ahead to see how your decision paths will affect staffing, profit, productivity, and operations. Data insights can also provide you with an instant view of inventory, supply chain status, customer history, and more. 

Calculating Change

The business environment is changing by the moment. There are a lot of environmental dynamics and mandates being applied to markets from the international, federal, state, and local levels. Product vendors and solution providers, partners, and customers are rapidly modifying their business to adjust. Workforces are remote, and teams are dispersed. Data insights can help us assess the changing climate as well as changing customer needs so that we can quickly shift strategy to meet their demand, preferences, and needs.

Furthermore, all of these changes are generating new data, both internally and externally. You can’t manage your business and predict the near future if you’re not gathering new data or if you’re updating your data monthly or weekly. Your data needs to mirror the speed of the changing environment and be accessible in real-time, instantly updated, and responsive.

Using Data for Financial Aid

Many countries, including the U.S., are providing financial assistance for businesses to help them cope with COVID-19. Submitting your company for aid requires applications that ask about revenue numbers, workforce status and plans, and current financials vis-a-vis past financials. To complete an accurate application, it’s imperative that you have your most up-to-date data handy.

Post-Crisis Evaluation

At some point, regions, industries, and your business are all going to get back to “normal.” Suffice to say, the way we have gone about business in the past might change somewhat in the future, but nonetheless, we’ll need data insights to monitor our current state of affairs regarding assets (inventory, product and customer status, staffing requirements, etc.). You’ll need to evaluate how you did during the pandemic and what you need to do to ramp up and accelerate coming out of it. Your data insights will help you determine your next course of action and whether your predictions are in tune with where the market is heading post-pandemic. Furthermore, learning how to best leverage your data in real-time now by using a modern data estate might very well help you survive another possible crisis sometime down the road.

Give Me Data Now!

With all that being said, if you haven’t done so as of yet, please consider using these unprecedented times to take immediate action regarding your corporate data. Having a plan for empowering business users so that they have access to the right data, as needed and when needed, is crucial. Centralizing and integrating your data sources into a single platform so that all people are looking at the same data will help you achieve “one version of the truth” and give you a truer holistic view of your business situation instead of having data dispersed throughout the enterprise.  

I know it can be hard to make changes at this time, but taking measures to move towards a modern Data Management estate can help you survive now and grow as you come out of this very challenging business climate.  

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